Free Care Home Fees? Too Good To Be True…

As the old saying goes, ‘if it sounds like it’s too good to be true, then it probably is’.  Any statement which guarantees that you will not have to pay care home fees should at the very least be regarded as highly suspect.

Some people are under the false impression that just transferring an asset out of their name will prevent it from being taken into account in residential means testing, which is the process that helps to determine how much a person will pay when it comes to care home fees.

“Both the local authority and the Pension Service can, when assessing a resident’s eligibility for assistance, look for evidence of deliberate, or intentional, deprivation of capital such as a property.”[1]

“Deliberate deprivation occurs when an individual transfers an asset out of his or her possession to put him or herself in a better position regarding the means test for care home accommodation.”[2]

Local authorities have extensive legislative powers to ‘claw back’ assets which they believe they have been deliberately deprived of.

There are lots of unregulated companies providing legal services who are making spurious claims with regard to care home fees and their ability to ‘claw back’ fees, or prevent people having to pay fees at all.

“There is no fool proof way of avoiding the value of assets being taken into account for means testing.”

If the sole purpose of the transfer of an asset is to avoid paying care home fees be aware that local authorities have the power to claw back or set aside such transfers. It is important to seek proper legal and financial advice when it comes to transferring assets.

If you require any further information about care home fees and funding please do not hesitate to contact our Elderly Client Services Team or call us on 01903 229999.

 

The information contained in this article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be legal advice. Professional advice should always be taken on the application of the law in any particular situation.